Posted: 7:29 pm Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

Pruitt loses one GOP vote, but still seems headed for EPA 

By Jamie Dupree

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, President Donald Trump’s pick to head the Environmental Protection Administration, lost the support of his first Republican on Wednesday, as Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) announced she would oppose his nomination, leaving opponents of Pruitt still short of blocking his confirmation.

“The fact is, Mr. Pruitt and I have fundamentally different views of the role and mission of the EPA,” Collins said in a written statement.

“Specifically, I have significant concerns that Mr. Pruitt has actively opposed and sued EPA on numerous issues that are of great importance to the state of Maine,” Collins added.

With the Senate ready to start debate on Pruitt’s nomination on Thursday, the decision by Collins leaves little room for error for the White House, as Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has indicated he is leaving on a trip to European security conference before a final vote; that would make 50 votes at a minimum in favor of Pruitt.

At this point, no other Republican has come out against Pruitt, and the GOP is confident he will be approved for the EPA job either late on Thursday or Friday, just before the Senate takes a ten day President’s Day break.

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